#AMREADING RICHARD FORD, LET ME BE FRANK WITH YOU.
Richard Ford revives Frank Bascombe’s character for these linked novellas about the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, failed marriages, and fraying friendships.
He looks at the devastation caused by the hurricane and sees a palpable ghostly image to put back what was. People have lost their belongings, and Frank himself feels that life is a matter of gradual subtraction. You arrive at a solider, more-nearly-perfect essence. It’s the same with language: A reserve of fewer, better words would help.
A 68, Frank is trying to hang on to his increasingly rare and vagrant thoughts. But what’s really missing is hope, daydreaming about the possibility that somewhere, somehow, some good thing was going on that would soon affect me and make me happy, only I didn’t know it yet.
He has a sensation of dread more often than he cares to admit: Something bad is closing in, like the advance of a shadow over a square of playground grass where I happen to be standing…the air suddenly goes chill and still, and all is up for me.
All is not up for Richard Ford. He still has the power of words. Love his description of cop gear: the man is kevlar’d with heavy combat footwear, outfitted with a waist-harness of black leather, scorch-your-eyes perpetrator spray, silver cuffs, a walkie-talkie as big as a textbook, a head-knocking baton in a metal loop, extra ammo clips…a pair of sinister black gloves.